Tricks & treats for busy event management professionals!
Five top tips to help make coordinating and running events less stressful in the lead up to the silly season!
If there’s one thing that we have learnt from working with our clients over the past twenty years, it’s that coordinating and managing events can be stressful. In fact, Event Coordinator was ranked as the fifth most stressful job in the CareerCast.com 2017 report, beaten only by Military Personnel, Firefighters, Airline Pilots & Police Officers.
From speaking to our clients, we can put this down to three key factors:
1. Event Coordinators are constantly doing 1,000,000 things at once e.g. setting up a venue for an upcoming event while responding to incoming emails, distributing event sheets to various departments and so on…
2. Event Coordinators are answerable to multiple stakeholders all the time i.e. clients, prospective clients, guests/attendees, suppliers, managers, chefs, accounts teams etc.
3. Event Coordinators only get one opportunity to get it right – a bride will not return the following day if the wedding didn’t go to plan.
With the holiday season fast approaching, we felt it timely to share some of the tips and tricks we have picked up from working with successful event and venue managers across the globe. We believe that these will help you to streamline your processes and reduce the amount of stress you experience over the next few months in the hope that the festive season will be less silly and more enjoyable for you and your team.
Tip 1: Organise your workplace
It sounds simple, but taking the time to organise your desk and your digital desktop can have a huge impact on your stress levels. According to Health Advocate Solutions, a tidy and well-organised workspace can not only help you to reduce your anxiety levels, it can also improve your productivity levels. So, take the time now to clean up your physical and digital surroundings before you get too busy.
A simple way of reducing the amount of clutter, it to limit paper and printed files and move towards digital documents. We recommend using cloud-based file storage because it means that you can access the files at any time and from anywhere and you can rest assured that the information is secure.
Tip 2: Manage your time
In addition to organizing your environment, it’s also important to manage your time effectively. The best way to do this is to set clear goals/deadlines and maintain an up-to-date to-do list. We highly recommend using a planner or task management application to do this, where you can set due dates and keep track of your progress. In addition, be sure to set aside some time each day to collect your thoughts, check off the completed items on your list and review your upcoming events so that you are always ahead of the game.
Tip 3: Manual vs Automatic
One of the biggest issues we have come across, is that Event Coordinators get bogged down with administrative duties. This means that precious time is often wasted on data entry, when it really should be spent working more closely with clients to understand their needs and to ensure that their event is a success.
We recommend that you conduct a quick review of all of your systems and processes and see where there might be opportunities to automate some of your tasks. Start by writing down the tasks that you are required to do on a daily basis, with an estimate of how much time you spend on these duties in an average day. These may be things like:
Answer phone calls and emails – 2hrs
Add new contact and enquiry details to the database – 1hr
Create quotes, booking contracts & invoices – 3hrs
Set up and pack down the venue for events – 3hrs
Briefing meetings with catering and operations teams – 1hr
Once you have done this, consider which of these duties take up time and then ask yourself, is there a better or, more importantly, automated way of doing these? For example:
– Do you manually create each of your contracts/quotes/invoices? Is it possible for you to populate these automatically?
– Do you manually record all of your enquiries? Is it possible for you to add a web form to your website so that you can capture enquiries and record them in your database immediately?
If you recognize that there are multiple tasks that could be automated, take the time to explore different options for automating these tasks. This could be something as simple as creating a template or implementing a whole new system. It is imperative that you explore new and different ways of doing things to make sure you consistently improving productivity – it’s important to work smarter, not harder.
Tip 4: Say no
Event Coordinators tend to be crowd pleasers. That said, it’s important to realise that there are limitations on what you can achieve and to manage the expectations of your clients/managers/guests. It’s ok to say no sometimes, so if someone requests something that you don’t believe will be achievable at your venue, or a certain time constraint, then be confident in your convictions and say no!
Tip 5: Enjoy!
Above and beyond all, remember to enjoy yourself. You work in an industry that is creative and exciting and it’s important to take time to smell the roses. By adopting the tips we have mentioned above, we hope that you will have that bit extra time to step back and indulge in watching a bride walk down the aisle, take a glimpse behind the scenes at a live show, or simply to watch guest’s reactions as they enter a venue that you have transformed for them.
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